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 Chapter 27: Crash Into Me

 

Tuesday March 21st, 6:21 am

 

One hand rested under his chin as he looked at me from his half-moon spectacles. The other hand was idly drumming on his desk, creating an unknown rhythm. He remained silent as I closed my playbook and set it in front of him. His eyes did not move from mine, after a few moments of silence his mouth turned into a smile as his eyes danced.

 

“I cannot say I am surprised,” he slowly drawled out. “It was only a matter of time before you came to me, wanting to help in the Order, what with all of your friends participating in it.”

 

“Sir, please do not think I am wanting to join because of the choices of my friends,” I quickly said.

 

“I didn't mean to assume such a thing Ms. Muze. I was told of the Hogsmeade attack and your part in it.”

 

I blushed from the memory, yes I was able to produce a patronus but I almost passed out. “I'm not as good as James or Sirius at dueling, nor would I ever claim to be. My whole life I've spent being defensive, never taking charge and being offensive. There's one thing I know how to do and that's to defend myself, and others.”

 

Dumbledore raised his hands and placed his pointer fingers together, pressing them against his mouth as he observed me. “If you don't mind me asking, how does Mr. Black feel about your latest discovery?”

 

I stiffened at his name, the memory of our fight still ringing in my head, the wound still fresh. “His reaction was not unexpected. I assure you that Sirius will not be a distraction if I play part in the Order.”

 

“My concerns do not lie with you, however, Mr. Black seems keen on keeping you safe and I only hope that won't provide a distraction to him.”

 

I straightened in my chair as I gazed intently at Dumbledore, “if and when it becomes an issue I shall address it then.”

 

Dumbledore surveyed me once more before nodding his head and slapping his hand down on my playbook. “Very well then Ms. Muze, welcome to the Order.”

 

Dumbledore then explained to me what being in the Order meant and what was expected after we graduate from Hogwarts. Every new member would be assigned to a person already in the Order, we would study under them and learn what we needed to do for the first four preliminary months from them. I was assigned to Marlene McKinnon, a girl from Gryffindor who graduated the year before us. The news came with a slight intimidation factor to me, Marlene was regarded as one of the best and most powerful witches to ever attend Hogwarts. Marlene gave Lily a run for her money in brains, and would surely beat her dueling.

 

Dumbledore kept my playbook but encouraged me to continue creating new strategies, but write them out as Quidditch plays so that if my playbooks were ever intercepted the person wouldn't be able to link it to the Order.

 

As I walked out of Dumbledore's office I had a bounce in my step but the bounce felt heavy. Yes, I was pleased that Dumbledore thought I was strong enough and important enough to join in his Order but at the same time the implications of joining the Order hit me. The war that I had been trying to ignore, that I watched all my friends volunteer for, suddenly became more real as I thrust myself into it.

 

When I thought of life after Hogwarts I never imagined that this is what I would be doing. I had planned on traveling, seeing the world and getting a life of experience. I had hoped that traveling would break me out of my shell, never would I have thought all that I needed to do was fake-date James Potter and fall in love with Sirius Black.

 

When I exited Dumbledore's office I almost jumped out of my skin when I saw Sirius waiting for me in the hallway. His head lifted when he saw me arrive. He looked sheepish as he scratched the back of his head and looked at me apologetically. I regained my composure and titled my chin up as I brushed past him, ignoring his pleading calls as he said my name.

 

“Avery,” he said, his voice near my ear as he easily fell in stride with me. “I didn't mean it, you should know that. When I joined the Order I did it because I had nothing to care about, nothing attaching me or holding me down and then you came along. When you came into my life that was the first time I've questioned what I was doing, the first time I considered staying out of the war and moving to Hong Kong to avoid it and be with you.”

 

“You would never do that,” I said without realizing I was responding to him. It was true though, he could never not fight for something he believed in. The war hit close to home, his family believing in blood purification. More than any of us he had reason to fight.

 

“You're right,” Sirius said, a smile evident in his voice. “I couldn't, but I considered it, because of you. Now, not only do I have to worry about me I have to be terrified for you.”

 

“Because you don't think I could hold my own.” I said harshly.

 

“Avery,” Sirius said, making me stop walking by taking my arm in his hand. I quickly tried to yank my arm free but he had a strong hold on me. He turned me to face him as his eyes bore into mine, begging for forgiveness. “I never meant that, I know you could do it, that's what makes me so scared. I don't want you to be a target. If I die, that's nothing, but if you die I just couldn't-” His voice broke off and his gaze faltered away from my eyes before he shook his head and regained his stature. “If something ever happened to you I would never get over it.”

 

I could feel my defensive shield faltering as Sirius looked pleadingly at me. Deep down I knew he didn't think I was worthless when it came to spells, its just I've never received a lot of admiration and praise in my lifetime so when I feel like I can succeed at something it doesn't take much to knock me down and think twice about it.

 

“There's nothing you can do to stop me from fighting,” I said sternly.

 

Sirius sighed in resignation, he had lost and he knew there was no changing me. “I know,” he said wrapping his arms around my waist and pulling me towards him. “It's all happening so fast, we're almost graduated and Voldemort is rising to power as each day passes. I'm scared for our future, I'm scared we wont have one.”

 

I smiled and shook one hand free as I moved his bangs away from his face. “As long as you don't undermine my dueling abilities again we'll have a future.”

 

Sirius smiled, pulling up his hand and placing it on my cheek. He slowly leaned in and kissed me tenderly. Once he pulled away the adrenaline that had kept me going was ebbing away and I could feel exhaustion creeping up on me. With a heavy sigh I looked at my watch and saw it was only thirty minutes until we were scheduled for breakfast. As if to confirm my exhaustion a yawn escaped my lips and Sirius frowned at me.

 

“You look like you haven't slept in ages,” Sirius commented.

 

“I feel like it,” I said as I broke away from Sirius and headed towards the common room.

 

“Skip class with me,” Sirius suggested enthusiastically.

 

“Don't be daft,” I said slapping him with the back of my hand. “NEWT's are a little over two months away, I can't afford to miss class.”

 

“Exams are easy,” Sirius said with a slightly shrug as we walked into the common room. “Just wave your wand around a bit and answer some questions and you're done.”

 

I stopped at the bottom of the girl's dormitory stairs, “if only I could be as carefree as you.” I stood on my tiptoes and placed a hand on his chest as I kissed him on the lips. “I can't afford to faff about like you, I'll see you in class, maybe.”

 

Sirius smiled noncommittally at me as I turned around and walked up the dormitory staircase, not without a proper bum slap from Sirius. “For encouragement on your travels,” he said with a smirk tugging at his lips.

 

I threw my backpack down at the Great Hall as I slumped on the bench at the Hufflepuff table next to Cassi. I stole a piece of toast from her plate and nibbled on it, struggling to keep my eyes open.

 

“There you are, Merlin you look like hell,” Cassi said as she examined me.

 

I pulled a face and said, “thanks Cass, good morning to you as well.”

 

“Christ,” Cassi mumbled under her breath as her eyes fixed on something across from her. I followed her gaze and saw her staring at Amos Diggory. “How long do you think it takes Diggory to get ready in the morning? He has more gel in his hair than Snape has grease. I walked behind him one day and I swear to Merlin he looked at his reflection in every window he passed.”

 

“I know what you're talking about, I swear I once saw him hump his own reflection.”

 

Cassi and I burst out into a fit of giggles as she threw her arms around me and declared wildly, “oh Amos, how do you do it? How do you manage to be so amazing?”

 

“I'd like to thank Merlin for using his bare hands to sculpt the work of art that is me, Amos Diggory.” I said in a deep voice.

 

“Why can't I just marry myself, it would make it so much easier than reminding every girl they're not good enough for me.” Cassi said imitating Amos.

 

“I'm so amazing!” I cried loudly as Cassi and I burst out into a fit of giggles, causing people around us to stare.

 

“So how are you and lover boy?” Cassi asked once our laughter died down.

 

I shrugged as I poured myself pumpkin juice and took a sip from it. “We got into a bit of a row earlier, but we're fine now.”

 

“That explains the homeless appearance you're currently sporting.”

 

“A few wrinkles in my uniform does not mean I'm homeless,”I defended.

 

“Whatever you want to think, love. Just stand next to Tracy Lipman and you'll look like a diamond.”

 

I elbowed Cassi as I chastised her, “that's cruel, she could hear.”

 

“What, it's not like it's a big bloody secret that Tracy couldn't give a toss about her appearance. Only a blind person could ignore her. She sewed black pom poms onto her stockings, pom poms, Avery.”

 

“Yes, we've all seen them.”

 

“And her hair, it looks like an owl attacked it and never recovered.”

 

“Cass!” I said in a harsh whisper as I looked down the table to make sure Tracy wasn't listening to our conversation.

 

“What?” Cassi said indignantly. “It's not like she doesn't know what she looks like.”

 

“You can be so cruel sometimes,” I said in mock horror.

 

“I'm just saying, it wouldn't kill her to pick up a hairbrush once in a while, or non-decorated stockings.”

 

“Alright, enough with Tracy for today,” I said waving my hand to get her off topic. “So, how's Peter?” I asked knowing this was the perfect diversion.

 

“Well, aside from our first date getting ruined by the dementor attack not much has changed. He's really quite shy, it's hard to make him do anything. I thought he was going to wet himself when I grabbed his hand this weekend.”

 

“Yes, well he's fond of you, it's obvious.”

 

Cassi straightened in her seat as a smile fell on her lips. She fluffed her hair and tried to look nonchalant but she was radiating. “Yes, well who wouldn't?” She then leaned over and grabbed her book bag, throwing it over her shoulders and standing from her seat, looking at me expectantly to follow. I stood up and walked behind her sluggishly. Cassi walked ahead of me, her usual powerful and confident gait clearing a path. I admired the way she bounded everywhere, she walked with purpose and her confidence drew in the people surrounding her.

 

The day dragged on. I was constantly falling asleep during class and more than once Cassi had to nudge me during Transfiguration to keep from my head hitting the table. I had a free period the time before lunch and the hours seemed to drag on. Eventually free period came and I dragged myself to the common room. The place was empty, save for a few students doing their homework quietly, and I decided that going up to my dorm room was too much extra effort and that the common room couch was sufficient enough.

 

It seemed I had just closed my eyes before I was cruelly snapped out of my slumber. My eyes slowly opened as I felt someone sink next to me and place my legs on their lap. At first I thought it was a comforting gesture and settled back onto the couch, preparing to sleep agin, but the person drummed on my legs and was hoping on the couch. I craned my neck and looked down at my legs and saw Nial staring at me, a manacle look in his eyes.

 

“You're such a tosser,” I mumbled, throwing a pillow over my head, trying to block him out.

 

“A tosser who is now dating Lelani Michaels,” Nial burst out.

 

“Congratulations,” I said halfheartedly, not having the energy to muster up enough enthusiasm.

 

“Your enthusiasm is astounding.”

 

“Sorry, I haven't slept all night.”

 

“Why are you such a baby all the time?”

 

“Shut up,” I said throwing a pillow in Nial's direction not knowing if I hit my target or not. “If you insist on annoying me massage my feet.”

 

“I'll do no such thing,” Nial said. “I will, however, massage your hand.”

 

“Whatever,” I said withdrawing my arm from underneath me and flopping it onto Nial's lap where he gingerly picked it up and rubbed it. The sensation was oddly soothing. “So, how did you finally get Lelani to be official? I do hope that when you made things official you didn't leave her standing in a hallway again and run to find me.”

 

“Ha ha,” Nials said sarcastically. “Despite the treacherous Hogsmeade weekend we had an enjoyable time up until that point. I figured why not go for it and ask her, the worst she can do is say no and school is almost over. I would only have to avoid her for a month or two if I were humiliated beyond repair.”

 

“Clever thinking,” I responded, Nial set down my right hand and picked up my other one, immediately setting to work on it.

 

“So what kept you up last night?” Nial asked with a suggestive eyebrow raise.

 

 

“Bugger off,” I said kicking Nial with my foot. “I was talking to Dumbledore this morning, I'll have you know. There was no hanky panky of sorts.”

 

“Hanky panky?” Nial asked, stifling a laugh.

 

“Oh, you know what I mean.” I said, not in the mood to explain myself.

 

“What was the meeting with Dumbledore about?”

 

“Oh,” I said, realizing I didn't know how much I could tell Nial. “I gave him my playbook. I figured that even though the Quidditch season was over next year they could use the plays.”

 

Nial raised an inquisitive eyebrow at me, “you went to Dumbledore in the early hours of the morning to give him your playbook?” He asked in a disbelieving voice.

 

“Yes,” I answered firmly.

 

“Alright,” Nial said not pushing me further. I was grateful he didn't push it and rested my head against the arm of the sofa as we fell into a comfortable silence.

 

I don't know when but I fell asleep on the couch. When I came around Nial was gone. I looked at the clock and bolted awake when I saw I had slept for almost three hours. I had slept well past lunch and missed History of Magic. Panic from missing a class didn't overtake me, I was still too tired to fully comprehend the situation. I reached my hands above my head and stretched out my body. I then reached down and ran a hand through my hair, but but I did this I felt my hand hit a piece of paper on my forehead. I grabbed the piece of paper form my forehead, which had been taped to it.

 

Once you wake up meet me in my room. Asked Cassi to take notes for you in class.

-S

 

A smile fell on my lips as I sprang up from the couch. I looked at my reflection in a window and straightened my hair and outfit before going up to Sirius's room. I knocked on his door and heard him say come in before opening the door. The room had be transformed completely. For one, I was able to walk on the ground, clothes and Quidditch paraphernalia were no longer coating the hard wood floors. On Sirius's bed he had a tablecloth with all my favorite food spread out on it.

 

He sprang up from his bed and looked a little embarrassed by the situation. One hand was placed firmly into the pocket of his jeans, while the other was scratching the back of his head as he looked at me. “I wanted to make up for earlier,” he explained.

 

“Sirius you didn't have to.”

 

“I know I didn't, but I wanted to.”

 

I smiled and wrapped my arms around Sirius, bringing him close to me. I rested my head in the nook of his shoulder and neck and breathed him in. He smelled like spices and pie, with an underlying scent of natural musk.

 

“I love you,” I said into his ear.

 

Sirius's hold on me tightened and he kissed my forehead, “I love you too.” Sirius pulled away and held me at arm's length. “Now, let's eat. You've hardly eaten anything all day, I know you're starving.”

 

I looked down at the food and my stomach gave a timely rumble. Sirius loaded my plate with everything from turkey to pumpkin pie to squash. I greedily dug into my food, hardly taking breaths between bites.

 

“Your friend Cassi is very protective of you,” Sirius said once I had slowed down my eating and was no longer inhaling the food but allowing myself to chew it.

 

“That's kind of how we met,” I said smiling fondly at the memory of Cassi telling off Diedra in Transfiguration.

 

“She told me ever so nicely that if I ever hurt you again she's going to make sure I'm never able to reproduce.”

 

“Sounds like Cass,” I said laughing. “You'll grow to love her, honestly.”

 

“Pete seems pretty fond of her.”

 

“She's an easy person to like, horribly honest and could easily kick your arse, but she's been a good friend to me.”

 

Sirius frowned briefly at the memory of our breakup and how Cassi and Nial were the ones to help me through it. I'd noticed that since we'd gotten back together he would do this often. One moment we would be talking and the next he would be slipping away, his eyes blank and a frown on his face. But as quickly as the moment would come it would just as easily fade and Sirius's happy demeanor would return.

 

After dinner Sirius and I laid down in his bed, my head resting in the crook of his arm as he played with my hair. We didn't say much at all. Both of us were full from the dinner and exhausted still from last night.

 

“Would it be inappropriate to cop a feel right now?” Sirius said.

 

I laughed and elbowed his side, “you're such a tosser sometimes.”

 

“What! I can't help it that your shirts buttons are undone to the point of almost seeing your bra. It's my hormones babes, and they're raging.”

 

“I suppose you can,” I said blithely as I flailed out my arms and laid still on my back. “I'm a little bloated from all the food though.”

 

“You can be quite sexy sometimes,” Sirius mumbled into my hair. His breath trailing along the side of my neck, causing goosebumps to appear. Slowly he undid each button on my shirt, his stray fingers brushing along my bare stomach. Once the last button was undone he ran his hand from the bottom of my stomach to the top, slowly pushing away my shirt and exposing my front.

 

I felt exposed like that in front of him. Its not like this was the first time he had seen me shirtless but I'd never felt so exposed, the sun was shining through the window and directly on me. Every imperfection covering my body could be seen by him. I sucked in my stomach, concentrating on making sure I didn't look bloated than the fact that Sirius's hands were tracing the freckles on my body, connecting them into a pattern on my stomach.

 

Sirius then moved his head so that his lips grazed my ear as he spoke, “relax, you're beautiful.”

 

That was all it took for me to get over my insecurities and let go, embracing Sirius in my arms and crashing my mouth onto his. At first the kiss started slow. Then it quickly progressed, our movements becoming more fervent and needy as we pressed into each other, desperate for one another. I started undoing the buttons on Sirius's shirt and he sat up, allowing me to remove it. He then pulled me onto his lap and I wrapped my legs around his back, our naked torsos colliding into each other.

 

His hands were moving so fast across my body it felt like he had sprouted four other limbs that were caressing me. No part on my body went untouched, making me feel like I had been set on fire. He grabbed my lower back and pulled me even closer to him, the friction from our bodies caused a moan to escape my lips.

 

I pushed Sirius back onto the bed, a sudden power taking over me. Sirius reached around my back and undid the clasp of my bra, I positioned myself to make the process easier for him. He hurriedly got it off and left it discarded on the ground, quickly forgotten. Our movements became even more heated as we pressed into each other. He was reaching for the button on my skirt when a loud crash sounded.

 

My head snapped up so quickly I thought I was going to get whiplash.

 

“Oh bloody hell,” Remus cried as he covered his eyes with his hand, feeling around for the door. A broken lamp laid on the ground, the sound from the crash. I quickly rolled off of Sirius and covered my upper half. “Holy tit I'm so, I mean not holy tit, I mean you're naked. I mean, bugger.”

 

“Calm yourself Moony,” Sirius said, grabbing a shirt from the ground and throwing it on.

 

“I'm sorry,” Remus said, his hands still firmly over his eyes.

 

“Avery's dressed mate, you can come out of hiding.”

 

Remus removed his hands but his eyes were still snapped shut. Slowly he opened his eyes and saw me hiding in the corner, the blankets drawn up to my eyes. “I didn't mean to interrupt, I know how you told us to leave you alone but something has happened.”

 

Sirius suddenly stiffened and looked like a dog who had just spotted danger. It was then I noticed Remus's appearance, he looked even more worn down than usual and his eyes were red as if he had been crying. “What's going on?”

 

“It's about James' dad,” Remus choked for a moment and the next words that came tumbling from his lips caused Sirius to fall to his knees and gasp for breath. “He was murdered.”

 

A/N: Hey sorry it's taken so long for this chapter to come out, I've actually written this entire story and am 8 chapters into the sequel so it was just a matter of me getting time to post it, I'm at tech school for my air force training and I thought I would have more time but I really don't. Anyway, I actually kind of liked this chapter (amazing, I know!). I liked the banter with Cassi (She's quickly becoming one of my favorites to write). And the end of it. Then again it could be complete crap, I leave it up for you guys to decide :) Oh and the sequel is called Thin Ice :) Figured I should tell you all that information :)

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